College Board estimates Washington state AP test takers could save more than $53 million in college costs.

OLYMPIA — February 24, 2016 — More Washington students are taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams with a score of 3 or higher, according to a report released today by the College Board. That means more students are better prepared for college. And they’re saving money on college credits when they get there.

“Taking AP courses is challenging,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “Not only do students build skills used in college and career, they also have the chance to earn college credit while they’re still in high school.”

College Board’s report shows that 37.4 percent of Washington high school graduates in the class of 2015 took at least one AP exam. That number increased from 36.1 percent last year and 19.7 percent 10 years ago.

College Board offers AP exams in 37 subjects. Students take the tests in May and receive scores on a scale from 1 to 5. Washington’s participation rate continues to rise, along with the number of students who pass the exams with at least a 3. In 2015, 22.6 percent of Washington’s graduating seniors scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP test. In 2014, that number was 22.0 percent; in 2005, it was 12.6 percent.

Washington ranked 15th in the nation for the number of 12th graders (22.6 percent) who scored a 3 or higher on AP exams. Maryland was first at 31.7 percent. The national average was 22.4 percent.

6th Annual Honor Roll Districts
College Board’s AP Honor Roll recognizes school districts that increase access to AP coursework and the percentage of students who score a 3 or higher. Washington’s honor roll districts include:

  • Aberdeen
  • Archdiocese of Seattle Education Office
  • Battle Ground
  • Eatonville
  • Issaquah
  • Lake Washington
  • Marysville
  • Riverview
  • Snoqualmie Valley
  • Spokane

Top 10 Tests
The most popular AP exams in Washington are (in order):

  1. English Language and Composition
  2. United States History
  3. English Literature and Composition
  4. Calculus AB
  5. World History
  6. United States Government and Politics
  7. Biology
  8. Statistics
  9. Psychology
  10. Chemistry

More Information
Visit the Advanced Placement page on the OSPI website to learn more.